chapter
11 Pages

Afterword

WithAndrew Lambert

Ideologies are fluid, politically driven, and shaped by wider cultural concerns. They do not so much reflect reality as promote aspirational agendas for imagined futures, futures that would serve the policy aims enshrined in national ideology. Furthermore, ideologies that focus on the sea, and especially on naval power, are necessarily constructed. Naval ideologies take time to achieve traction, and necessarily combine elements of reality, fable, and myth; they are never absolute, and there are always other voices in the debate, commonly those of landed wealth, and military force. The temptation of conventional land-focused ideology remained strong throughout this period, and far beyond. While central to the self-identification of sea power states, which prioritise the ocean and oceanic activity, naval ideologies have always had less traction with continental powers.